ATM Optical Design and Analysis Software

written by Massimo Riccardi

ATMOS History
Analysis Slides
Telescope Design Slides
System Requirements
Download ATMOS demo
ATMOSFringe Interferogram Analysis Software

If you have purchased ATMOS, you will need to register it to receive software updates.
Please click here to enter the ATMOS Registration System

NEW 8.9 Version (November 1, 2016)


Now supporting Tolerance Analysis

ATMOS History

ATMOS Optical Design and Analysis Software is the creation of Massimo Riccardi, an Italian advanced Amateur Telescope Maker and designer. Mr. Riccardi has considerable experience with telescope designing and glassworking: Doublets, Triplets, Catadioptrics, etc. Several years ago, after mastering his optical knowledge, he felt the need for a program capable of producing SpotDiagrams for many wavelengths at the same time. So, just for fun, he tried to write a routine capable of producing such polychromatic Spotdiagrams using the only programming language he knew: QBASIC.

He succeeded and, as often happens, he felt the need to improve it again by adding several analysis routines. Thus, the first version of "ATMOS" (Amateur Telescope Maker Optical design and analysis Software) was born. At that time it was for personal use only.

Then, dissatisfied with DOS & QBASIC capabilities, he chose a programming language that ran under MS-WINDOWS. In this way he could get not only a better looking program, but most of all, a user-friendly interface with many windows, buttons and textboxes where the user could type the data or display the results. He rewrote ATMOS in Visual Basic and added many more analysis routines and useful telescope design tools.

ATMOS now is a powerful program with a user-friendly interface that allows the user to Analyze, Design and OPTIMIZE Centered/Uncentered optical systems and it is avalaible at a very affordable price. ATMOS is appreciated by amateurs and professional users and is under continuous development.

The current ATMOS version supports up to 100 surfaces and Obscuration Screens. It includes a powerful routine for Optimization, adjustable Aperture Stop position and supports both Finite / Infinte Object Distance. It also displays improved 2D, 3D-Layouts .

Mr. Riccardi wishes to thank :

  • ROLAND CHRISTEN the owner of the well-known telescopes firm "Astro-Physics"
  • Fritz Blechinger, a professional designer, author of OpTalix optical software
  • Rick Blakley for his patience in testing my software
  • Ivan Krastev, author of MODAS optical software for the common work and suggestions exchanged over the last years
  • Cor Berrevoets author of ABERRATOR
  • Jim Klein author of ODP optical design software for his help and encouragement

  • ATMOS 8.9 Features

    ATMOS 8.9 incorporates a wide range of features:

    Number of Surfaces
    Surface Types

    Number of waveLengths
    Number of rays
    Object Distance
    Aperture Stop

    . . Centered and Uncentered
    . . up to 100 + focal plane
    . . Spheres,Conics ,High-Orders,
    Obscuration Screens
    . . up to 6
    . . up to 30000
    . . Finite/Infinity
    . . Adjustable position

    ANALYSIS (graphical and/or tabular)

    • Multi-Analysis Plot
    • Polychromatic Detailed SpotDiagrams
    • Multi-SpotDiagrams (through focus/field)
    • Matrix SpotDiagrams
    • Total Field SpotDiagrams
    • RMS spot radius Versus: Focus,Field,WaveLength
    • RMS Wave-front Versus: Focus,Field,WaveLength
    • STREHL ratio Versus: Focus,Field,WaveLength
    • Geometric Encircled Energy Plot
    • Diffraction Encircled Energy Plot
    • 3D-Geometric Point Spread Function
    • 3D-Diffraction Point Spread Function
    • Geometric MTF
    • Geometric through focus MTF
    • Diffraction MTF
    • Diffraction through focus MTF
    • Ray-Intercept Curves
    • OPD Fan Plot
    • 3D-Wavefront Surface
    • Wavefront Map
    • Zernike Analysis
    • Ronchigram
    • Simulated color diffraction image
    • Interferogram
    • Spherical Aberration
    • Coma (OSC)
    • Astigmatism, Field Curvature
    • Distortion
    • Lateral Color
    • Chromatic Focal Shift
    • Real Rays
    • Paraxial Calculation
    • Vignetting Plot
    • Foot Print Diagram
    • Ghost Analysis
    • 2-D LAYOUT
    • 3-D LAYOUT


    • OPTIMIZATION (curvatures,thicknesses and conics)
    • RMS Spot size Optimization
    • RMS Wavefront Optimization
    • Best Focus Position
    • Scale system to a new focal length
    • Scale system by factor
    • Sagitta table
    • Aberration Allowances
    • Element Drawings
    • System Data Report
    • Schott glass catalogue (built in)
    • Ohara glass catalogue (built in)
    • Corning glass catalogue (built in)
    • Hoya glass catalogue (built in)
    • LZOS (Russian) glass catalogue (built in)
    • CHENGDU (Chinese) glass catalogue (built in)
    • Special Medium catalogue (Fluorite plus several plastic materials)
    • Dispersion diagrams for all glass catalogues
    • Create and Export .OPD files to ABERRATOR package


    One of the most useful and pleasant tool for the ATM is the "Telescope Design" Menu.
    You can easily and quickly design and then analyze about 30 optical configurations:

    • Newtonian
    • Two Mirrors (All Cassegrain types, all Richey-Chretiens, all Gregorian types,Couder-Schwarzschield)
    • Schmidt and Wright cameras
    • Schmidt Cassegrain (compact and no-compact Schmidt-Cass. types, Monocentric Schmidt-Cass.)
    • Maksutov (new design window)
    • Maksutov-Cassegrain (new design window)
    • Lurie-Houghton (all-spherical and aspherical types)
    • Houghton-Cassegrain (all-spherical and aspherical types)
    • Doublets
    • Triplets


    The following are some screen shots taken from ATMOS.




    - MATRIX Spot-Diagam


    - Polychromatic MULTI-SPOTDIAGRAM (through Focus/Field)


    - GHOST Analysis


    - STREHL Ratio versus Wavelength

    - Diffraction POINT SPREAD FUNCTION (FFT method)


    - Simulated Color Diffraction Image


    - WAVE FRONT (3D rotation)





    - Through focus MTF (Modulation Transfer Function)


    - Longitudinal,Transversal SPHERICAL ABERRATION and COMA (Offense against the Sine Condition)


    - OPTIMIZATION window

    - 2D and 3D LAYOUTS



    - Element DRAWINGS




    Here are some screen shots from the "Telescope Design" Menu:








    System Requirements

    Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 are the preferred operating systems for this software. Computers with faster Core Processors and increased RAM will perform better.


    Download ATMOS Demo

    This is the full function program, but has been limited to just 3 optical surfaces (except for the sample files). You can design and analyze Newtonian and classical two mirror telescopes with this version. This demo will introduce you to the ATMOS interface and give you a feel for the features of the program. Obviously,it cannot do everything the real program can.

    ATMOS FREEWARE comes with 36 sample files, and you can load up and analyze any of them.

    Download the following file: - ATMOS FreeWare - (about 4 MB)

    After downloading "Atmos" , unzip it then double-click on "setup.exe" for ATMOS self-installation.


    PLEASE NOTE: All customers who are residents of the European Union must order this software directly from the author. Astro-Physics will NOT accept orders from anyone in an EU country. Likewise, all customers outside of the European Union must order this software through Astro-Physics. Mr. Riccardi will not accept orders from customers outside of the EU. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

    EU Customers:

    Upgrade policy within one year after purchase: Original purchasers of ATMOS v8.x will be entitled to free minor upgrades (for example 8.7 to 8.8), that are released within one year from their original date of purchase, assuming that the price is the same. If the price has increased, the original purchaser will pay the difference in the price to obtain the upgrade. Major version changes (for example: 8.x to 9.x) will be sold at a reduced price to original, registered customers, regardless of when ATMOS was purchased. Please refer to the part number descriptions below and contact Astro-Physics to order.

    Upgrade for all other ATMOS customers: Original, registered purchaser of ATMOS may purchase the current version for a reduced price. Please refer to the part number descriptions below and contact Astro-Physics to order.

    ATMOS 8.9 - ATMOS Optical Design Program, Version 8.9. Includes CD-ROM. .
    ATMOS89UPFREE - ATMOS Optical Design Program, Version 8.9 upgrade. Will send via e-mail. Free upgrade to original, registered owners who purchased the previous version v8.7 (we did not offer a v8.6 release) between November 1, 2015 and October 31, 2016.
    ATMOS89UP - ATMOS Optical Design Program, Version 8.9 upgrade. Includes CD-ROM. This is special pricing for original, registered owners of any prior ATMOS version purchased prior to November 1, 2015. If purchased on or after this date, refer to ATMOS89UPFREE.

    If you have purchased ATMOS, you will need to register it to receive software updates.
    Please click here to enter the ATMOS Registration System

    Contact Info

    Massimo Riccardi's contact information is available on his ATMOS website:


    Neither Astro-Physics, Inc. nor Massimo Riccardi is responsible for any damages during or after the use of ATMOS or AtmosFringe software.

    Optical Design and Analysis Software


    Copyright © 2004 - 2019, Astro-Physics, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
    This page was last modified: March 9, 2019

    Astro-Physics, Inc.
    11250 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park, IL  61115, U.S.A.
    Phone: 815-282-1513   Fax: 815-282-9847